Indoor Vegetable Gardening

Indoor vegetable gardening is fast, fun, and rewarding. Learn how to prepare containers and soil for a beautiful and inexpensive indoor garden.

Growing plants indoors is especially fun and rewarding. When you are able to eat delicious vegetables from your plants it is even more exciting. Indoor gardening is a wonderful tool for those who have very little space and for those who are unable to bend. Indoor gardeners also love the fact that there is very little weed problem, no hot sun shining down on them, and it is so much easier to have good soil without covering a large area.

Indoor vegetables can be grown easily in any pot or container. Plastic is less expensive usually, but anything will work. Plastic gets hotter than ceramic containers. Ceramic containers seem to be the favorite among indoor gardeners. The most important part of the container is making sure that there is drainage in the bottom. If you are using plastic or metal containers, using an ice pick or another sharp object easily makes holes.

Different gardeners will tell you different ingredients to prepare the best soil. The soil should be lightweight and drain well. A mix that works well is and equal amount by volume of silica, sand, perlite and forest mulch. There is another favorite of equal parts of sharp coarse sand, native soil and compost or peat moss. If your vegetables are growing in hanging containers, you will need a light mix of equal parts of perlite, black peat moss and vermiculite. All nurseries also have premixed mixers, but you will pay a little more for these.

Getting the containers ready for planting is easy. After you have established the fact that there is adequate drainage, add the mixed soil. The soil should be lightly packed. If the soil is packed too tightly, there will be problems with root development, drainage and aeration. When you fill the container with soil, make sure there is between one and two inches of space at the top for watering.

It is best to stick with the same basic schedule for indoor gardening as you do with outdoor gardening for when to plant which vegetables. You can start vegetables from seed much easier indoors because you don't have to wait for certain weather conditions. As the seeds sprout, make sure that you thin them. One squash or broccoli seed will make a very large plant. Starting your indoor gardens from nursery purchased plants is fun because you have instant beauty in your containers.

Cherry tomatoes are especially fun. They will continue to grow for a very long time as you continue to pick off the little tomatoes. They are very pretty. They can be grown with or without stakes to hold them up, depending on your preference.

Herbs are another favorite for indoor gardeners. They are perfect for container gardening. Many of them are very attractive and will spill over the containers. Most also have a very fragrant odor. Mint, rosemary, chives and cilantro grow best in the cooler months. They can be grown from cuttings, seed or transplants.

Plant stands are an excellent way to show off your indoor gardens. They come in many varieties so let your imagination run wild. Plant stands can be easily made with bricks and any boards. Window sills, ladders, ledges, shelves, tables, and just about anything, can be used to make a beautiful indoor garden.

Garage sales are a perfect way to purchase inexpensive plant containers. If you decide to paint your containers, make sure that you only paint the outside. Painting the inside could contaminate the soil and give you all kinds of growing problems. If you are using spray paint, make sure that you cover the top of your container while painting. Sponge painting is an excellent way to decorate your containers. Take any sponge one half to one inch thick, cut into any shape, dampen the sponge and dip lightly into any ceramic coat paint. Most people use too much paint in sponge painting . Sponge a couple of times onto another surface first before sponging your containers. Your indoor garden becomes a bright, lovely area with a little paint.

The only downside that is usually found in indoor gardening is the watering. Plants grown in containers need more care and more attention than plants grown outside. Outside you can use timers and irrigate with drip systems. Indoor gardeners need to water by hand and more frequently because plants dry out faster in containers. If you are patio gardening, this is especially important. Sometimes new, small plants have to be watered more than once a day.

Enjoy your indoor gardening. It's fun, inexpensive and rewarding.

© High Speed Ventures 2011